Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency, Mr. Muhammed Sani-Sidi, has said Nigeria lost N2.6tn to the 2012 flood disaster.
Sani-Sidi said the disaster, which resulted in 363 deaths, affected seven million people, displaced 2.3 million others and damaged 597,476 houses.
A statement on Sunday from the agency’s Media and Public Relations unit, quoted the DG as having stated this at the Fourth Global Forum on Disaster Risk Reduction in Geneva, Switzerland.
Sani-Sidi said, “The comprehensive Post Disaster Needs Assessment conducted from November 2012 to March 2013 with the support of the World Bank and Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, United Nations, Development partners and relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies put the estimated total value of infrastructure, physical and durable assets destroyed at $9.6bn.
“The total value of losses across all sectors of economic activity was estimated at $7.3bn. The combined value of these damages and losses was $16.9bn.”
Describing 2012 as a challenging year for the country, the NEMA boss said the incident provided a platform for the government and other stakeholders to converge on pending developmental issues and the need to take the requisite step to respond to flooding challenges.
He added, “The flood was a classical case of how disasters can reverse development in a developing country like Nigeria. However, the calamities wrought by the 2012 floods offer for our country an important window of opportunity to address difficulties and long-standing development issues.
“It brought all stakeholders together as never before to address the consequences of the flood, plan to reduce the vulnerability of our people and increase their resilience.”
Sani-Sidi, who commended the efforts with United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction in engaging citizens on the post 2015 Hyogo Framework for Action, called for the inclusion of women and children in the implementation of the initiative.
The framework adopted by the World Conference on Disaster Reduction at Kobe, Hyogo, Japan in 2005, provides an opportunity to “promote a strategic and systematic approach to reducing vulnerabilities”.
He said the country had observed some gaps in the framework between the practice and principle of disaster risk reduction at the country level.
According to him, nationwide consultations on the post-2015 Hyogo Framework at the Federal Capital Territory and the six geopolitical zones “give us the indication that the participation of women and children will be critical to the successful implementation of any framework on DRR beyond 2015”.